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mountains, and many nations shall come and say, Come, let us “gó up to the mountain of the Lord.”—“ And He shall judge "among many people, and rebuke the nations afar off; and they " shall beat their swords into ploughshares : nation shall not lift "up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any
more ; but they shall sit every man under his vine, and under
his fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid.”_"In that day " I will assemble her that halteth, and will gather her that was
driven out, and her that I have afflicted, and I will make her " that was cast off a strong nation, and the Lord shall reign over " them in mount Zion, from henceforth and for ever."
Zephaniah iii, 14—20.
Sing O daughter of Zion; shout O Israel, &c. the Lord hath "taken away thy judgements, he hath cast out thine enemy. “ The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee, &c. " In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not, &c. " the Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, " he will rejoice over thee with joy. I will gather them that
are sorrowful. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict ' thee; I will gather her that was driven out; and I will get “them praise and fame in every land, where they have been put "to shame, &c."
From the foregoing Scriptures I would have the reader observe, that Christ must be a king visibly,---i.e. it must visibly appear that he is a king-or else men that are only influenced by their senses, and not by the Spirit nor by faith, will never be convinced : whereas the main intent of Christ's visible appearance is, that the kings of the earth, and all men drowned in sensuality, shall come and submit to his kingdom.w
And is there not reason that the King of kings, the Son of Man, should be as completely and apparently King, as the kings that are under him? They have not only authority by writs, warrants, proclamations, &c. to punish or encourage by their officers; but they are visibly crowned, sit in the throne, bear the
w Rev. xxi, and other places.
sceptre, and are attended upon all just occasions with a visible power. It is but equity therefore that Christ also should not only have sovereign authority, but also a visible power, so as he may visibly appear to his very enemies to be “King over all the earth.” Yea, as earthly kings have a providential care over all their subjects, even to the punishing of the rebellious; so also have they their secret way of insinuation and ingratiating towards their favourites ; and their manifest glorious presence at court, in the metropolitan and most magnificent place of the kingdom. Therefore, this at least must be equally allowed to Christ : viz. å providential power over all the world ; a spiritual efficacy over his kingdom of grace, or visible Church; and a visible glorious reigning over all his true saints.
But Christ is not now King in glory in the highest heavens with and over all his saints; for all shall not be there (even according to the common tenet) till the Lord Christ hath resigned all his power. And then (according to the common tenet again,) when he hath brought all the elect souls to their bodies by a resurrection, and changed them whom he finds alive at his coming, and so brought them all to ultimate glory, just then he lays down all his authority, and delivers up the kingdom ! so that he doth not reign with and over all his saints in ultimate glory at all.
But, according to the foregoing Scriptures, he must be a visible King of visible glory over the Church, made very glorious upon earth at his next appearance, before the ultimate judgement. It is a great comfort to those departed, that their bodies shall not lie in the grave so long as to the ultimate judgement, when all the wicked shall be raised; (as is evident, by comparing verse 2, &c. of Rev. xx, with verse 8, &c.) and it is a great comfort to them who shall be alive at his coming, and that have waited for him faithfully to the last and worst of the tragedy of evil times.
Finally, Christ must as visibly succeed in government the four metalsy and the four beasts,z (both signifying the four monarchies,) as these four did visibly precede him in government.a " The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which “shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to x 1 Cor. xv, 28. y Dan, ii.
a Dan. ii, 44, 45.
z Dan. vii.
“ other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume all " these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” And all this comes to pass in that the sto' (Christ Jesus) cut out of the
mountain without hands brake in pieces the iron, the brass, “ the clay, the silver, and the gold.” “The rest of the beasts had their dominion “ taken away."
• The Son of Man comes “ with the clouds, and the Ancient of days gave him dominion,
and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, and nations, and
languages should serve him.” So that Christ, at his next appearance, exhibits the fifth monarchy.
Though the Lord spake but little to Eve of his dominion over the seed of the serpent, and consequently his succour of the seed of the woman, yet did he anon and after act in types this visible monarchy ? He appears to Moses in a burning bush, to give a visible sign of his presence to deliver Israel out of Egypt. He appears to Israel in a pillar of a cloud, and of fire, sensibly to signify he was their convoy. They are a royalty, (as Peter calls them) but God only their monarch. Moses, and after him Samuel, were their irterpreters between them and their Monarch ; and therefore, when they rebelled against Moses, it is reckoned as a rebellion against God; and when they refused Samuel, it is charged upon them that they refused God to be their governor. The ark is placed amidst the camp, as the pledge of God to be their General. Accordingly they carried the ark in battle with them, as it is written : "The peo
ple sent for the ark of the covenant of the Lord of Hosts,
which dwelleth between the cherubim.d” And so the Philistines conceived: for when the Israelites shouted, at the coming of the ark into the camp of Israel, they were afraid, and said, “ God is come into the camp." This ark led them through Jordan, (as it is conceived by the most learned) and through the Red Sea. So when Israel was to re-build the Temple, and to settle in their own land after the captivity, Christ appears typified as a commander of an army, on horse back, with troops behind him ;f and as the Son of man sitting in judgement, as a king. 5
Some will perhaps say these were types of his incarnation, Dan. vii, 13, 14. c Num. ii. di Sam. iv, 4.
ev.7. f Zech. i. 8 Zech. vi, ; Dan. vii.
Grant that they were so, in some general semblance; yet did they more distinctly set forth his visible monarchy to come : therefore his very incarnation is made a type or platform of his coming as a Monarch. And as he appears, in Rev. i, as a glorious King, by way of prologue to his visible re-appearance to reign as a Monarch, (Rev. xx ;) much more may we expect him to come, and visibly appear at the setting up of his monarchy, from the consideration of all that he hath said and done in relation to it in the New Testament. He tells Pilate he was born to be a King, and therefore must be a King : but he would not set it up yet, before his ascension :i he must first a far country, and after that receive his kingdom ;”k he must first “ascend up on high, and lead captivity captive,” spiritually, as a preface to his visible appearance to make the Church spiritually and corporally glorious. This the Apostle directly intimates in the fourth chapter of Ephesians : “ Until we come to a
perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of
Christ;" which by and by he calls “ the new man which after God is created in righteousness and holiness," alluding to the state of innocent Adam. And therefore, as the first Adam did visibly appear as a glorious monarch over the visible world; so shall the second Adam, equally be the visible monarch of the world ; according to the Prophet's and Apostle's doctrine in Psalm viii, and Hebrews ii ; which are divine commentaries, as we have seen, on Adam's monarchy, Gen. i, 26-28.
h Acts i, 11.
i Acts i,
k Luke xix.
THE GLORIOUS STATE ITSELF
OF THE CHURCH ON EARTH.
We have necessarily anticipated much that belongs to this head, inasmuch as that many of the Scriptures which set it forth are interwoven with our former arguments. Nevertheless, we have reserved a more particular discussion of this glorious state itself for this place; and shall distinguish it for clearer discrimination into five heads : viz. 1. The Chaos, 2. The Creation, 3. The Dimensions, 4. The Qualifications, 5. The Privileges.
I. By the Chaos we mean the preparation to this estate, or the manner of its beginning : that as, in the old creation, the Chaos was the evening of the world, with which it began; so this new creation (as it is called, a begins with an evening. And as, after that, by way of antitypical memorial thereof, the church of the Jews began their sabbath in the evening ; so this glorious Sabbatism of which we speak, shall begin and have its antescene, or prelude, in a kind of evening. Now as the evening hath some obscure light, from a reflection of the sun's beams darted backward upon the clouds, with a twilight following it, but in the latter part it is dark; so in the first part of this evening, there shall be some manifestation of the “Sun of righteousness" for the call of the Jews, and the stirring them up to contend for their liberty against the Turk, and all other enemies; after which there shall be a darkness of great troubles, c—which troubles may indeed last forty-five years before the Jews with the Gentiles come to their glorious enjoyments at the resurrection of the elect. But when that evening and night is passed over, " the righteous shall have the dominion in the morning;”d which learned Junius interprets of the saints' happy estate in the morning of the resurrection. Isa. lxv, 17 ; 2 Pet. iii, 13 ; Rev. xxi, 1, b Zech, xii, 10 ; Rev. i, 7.
c Dan. xii, 1. d Ps. xlix, 14.